The search for missing 22-year-old Josh Cotton has entered its second week and is intensifying with more and more police officers and support staff joining the enquiry to trace him. Searches have continued in the area of Sawley Marina where Josh lived on his red narrow boat “The Spirit”. Having searched underwater in the south side area of the Marina where Josh’s boat is moored, officers then widened their search into the area around the marina, on scrub land and fields.
Other officers have been conducting detailed examination of items of property found on Josh’s boat in the hope they reveal clues as to where he may be, whilst further enquiries are being made with Josh’s friends and associates in the hope they may have vital clues about his whereabouts.
As well as leafleting some 400 boats moored at the Marina and speaking to scores of residents and Marina staff, Leicestershire Police have posted numerous Facebook messages, released media statements and tweets as well as making appeals through websites, newspapers, radio and TV stations and made three video appeals which have been viewed more than 150,000 times.
Enquiries have been made throughout the East Midlands involving officers from Nottinghamshire Police and Derbyshire Constabulary with a number of key lines of enquiry being actively pursued. But despite these efforts, and a significant and positive response from the public, the last known sighting of Josh remains 4pm last Friday afternoon when he spoke to the occupant of a neighbouring narrowboat.
Officers have been stopping and speaking to people at the four entrances to the Marina and handing out new appeal leaflets in an attempt to jog people’s memories and see if anyone may have seen Josh. Several people have come forward reporting sightings of Josh in the days and hours leading up to 4pm on Friday, including one person who saw Josh at around 1pm that day at the Marina. Understanding Josh’s movements last Friday afternoon is a priority, and it’s hoped recent activity at the Marina may identify eye witnesses who have yet to come forward.
Sgt James Cross, from the Missing Persons Team at Leicestershire Police said: “Searches have continued throughout today in an area to the south of the marina which borders the railway and the M1 motorway.
“Tomorrow marks a week since the last sighting of the 22-year-old and as time goes on, we are of course growing increasingly concerned for Josh. I'm urging people to think back to a week ago. Were you at the Marina? Did you see Josh? A team of officers will be there tomorrow and want to hear from you if you have any information at all. Even the smallest details could help us.”
When he was last seen, Josh was wearing black jogging bottoms, dark grey high-top trainers and a short brown hooded coat with fur along all of the external seams and above the pockets.
Anyone with any information should call Leicestershire Police on 101.